|Changpeng Zhao (CEO)|
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading various cryptocurrencies. As of January 2018, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume.
Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao, a developer who had previously created high frequency trading software. Binance was initially based in China, but later moved out of China due China's increasing regulation of cryptocurrency.
CEO Changpeng Zhao had previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai; the company built high-frequency trading systems for brokers. In 2013 he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. He also worked at OKCoin as CTO for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.
The company was founded in China but moved its servers and headquarters out of China and into Japan in advance of the Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. By March 2018 the company had established offices in Taiwan.
In March 2018, Binance announced its intentions to open an office in Malta after stricter regulations in Japan and China. In April 2018, Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Bermuda. Months later, a similar memorandum was signed with the Malta Stock Exchange to develop a platform for trading security tokens. In 2019, company announced Binance Jersey, an independent entity from its parent Binance.com exchange, with the aim to expand its European influence. Jersey based exchange offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency pairs, including the Euro and the British pound.
In August 2018, Binance along with three other big exchanges raised $32 million for a stable coin project. The idea of stable coins is to provide a cryptocurrency without the notorious volatility of Bitcoin and other popular digital assets.
In January 2019, Binance announced that it had partnered with Israel-based payment processor Simplex to enable cryptocurrency purchases with debit and credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard. The purchases are subject to Simplex’s local bank policies and are limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple’s XRP.
On May 7, 2019, Binance revealed that it had been the victim of a “large scale security breach” in which hackers had stolen 7,000 Bitcoin worth around U.S.$40 million at the time. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the hackers “used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks” and structured their transaction “in a way that passed our existing security checks.” Binance halted further withdrawals and deposits but allowed trading to continue. The site pledged to reimburse customers through its secure asset fund.
On February 21, 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority issued a public statement responding to media reports referring to Binance as a ‘Malta-based cryptocurrency’ company. The statement noted that Binance “is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.” The MFSA added that it was “assessing if Binance has any activities in Malta which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.”
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